Saturday, August 2, 2008

AnOTher one goes down...[updated]

The Lions were ripped at draft time by many because they took Cherilus over two other players:
Jeff Otah and Brandon Albert. They traded down with KC, allowing them to draft Albert, and then passed on Otah to pick Cherilus. Those two moves prompted Carolina to move up for Otah and the run on OTs in the first round was official.

Now that his legal issue is resolved (the existence and details of which were well known and looked into before the draft), Cherilus is free to push Foster for his starting job, and appears on track to seize it before the season starts. He also made sure that his contract was done so he could get into camp on time.

As I blogged earlier, Otah missed a bunch of ifseason work due to an ankle injury, but seems to be doing fine now at panthers camp. However, the missed time with Detroit would have hurt his chances of unseating Foster. In Carolina, they let a couple of linemen go; so while there is competition, the starter spot is vacant and he is competing with career long backups. Despite this, no matter how each player does they will always be linked by the fact that one was passed over to take the other -- and they will continually be measured against one another.

Albert was more of a gamble. He was "projected" to be a LT in the NFL, even though he only played a few games there in college. However, he may not get a chance to play at all until well into this season -- he will at least miss the rest of camp, and possibly even the preseason due to what the team is calling a "sprained foot." [if he were a Lion I would make a joke about the dreaded Lisfranc, and how his career is over. Heck, guess I just did anyways.]

Once again, there is no one talking about if he was taken too high, or if he will be able to translate to a LT. Because he was picked by Carolina, rather than Detroit, where it is taken for granted they will draft well even in spite of Millen-esqe record in the quality of drafted WR to play opposite Steve Smith (who was suspended for the first two games of the season for assaulting his own defensive teammate!)

So far, it looks like Cherilus was the right choice. Only time will tell IF it is so, but early indications are good so far.

There are teams who are on the decline, teams who are rebuilding, perennial contenders tweaking their rosters, and teams that are moving in the right direction, but aren't there yet.

So far, for me the following teams seem to be on a downward slope from what past season's expectations were: St. Louis (just hunch), KC (no line), SF (There are articles now, as predicted, that JTO of almost lost us the 1st Minnesota Game fame, is pushing for a starting job with the 49ers. Considering how many times he will be sacked this season, maybe Alex Smith should be thankful, rather than resentful.), and Chicago (defense is aging, and offense is still going nowhere)

[UPDATED 1:00 am EST-- As Nubsnobber pointed out in the comments below, Chris Williams (#14, Bears) has missed 8 days of practice with a bad back, and is at least out until Sunday at the earliest. Seems that the Lions (*knocks on wood*) are having a great deal of luck this ifseason... since they would likely have taken Williams if he had fallen to them, and may nto ahve gotten K.Smith...

The Cards losing both of their starting C the day after Millen picked up the best 2 healthy guys left on the market, I also think qualifies as ranking among the smart moves the Lions have made with their signings this ifseason.


One more update: NetRat found a bank error in Lions favor, their current cap number is actually about 2.7 mil under. Thanks to NetRat for the update.]


The Lions, however, appear to be on the upswing. How far will they go? It's still the ifseason -- filmseason will show us on tape. But for now, the signs look promising -- just like the Lions' first round ROT.

Other Oline Notes: I'm still in a quandary as to who the Lions will keep. I don't think they want to go with just 3 OT, but I also don't think they want to let go of either Ramierez or Davis -- especially considering the age of Mulitalo and his recent injury history. Your thoughts? Do they short the roster elsewhere to keep 10 linemen, and leave a G and OT inactive each week? If they cut someone, who?

I don't think Davis clears waivers and makes it to the practice squad this year. They hid him on IR last year for that very reason.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

MISSING TACKLES: ALBERT

ESPNews reports Kansas City Chiefs OL Branden Albert (foot) may miss the remainder of training camp with a foot injury, and possibly more.

WILLIAMS (Yep, another one):

Wiliams (Chicago Bears) has also missed significant time in camp.

Brad Biggs, of the Chicago Sun-Times, reports Chicago Bears rookie OT Chris Williams (back) missed his eighth consecutive day of practice Friday, Aug. 1, due to a back injury. The team expects him to return soon, possibly as early as Sunday, Aug. 3.

SAN FRAN SITUATION:

In addition, Martz is being handcuffed and advised he needs to call the game from the press box.

Nolan is smart enough to create a barrier between he and Martz.

MARTZ: Z48 Rollout; bronco tango on 2. (Look deep J.T.)

NOLAN: 34 Dive. Run your ass off Frank.

MARTZ: Hey, if you don't send in what I call I can't take your head coaching job next year.

NOLAN: Priceless.

CENTER PROBLEM/NOT IN THE CARDS:

The Associated Press reports the Arizona Cardinals are calling all centers after losing starter Al Johnson (knee) and backup Scott Peters (knee) back-to-back. The team hopes to have Johnson back for the start of the season but Peters is out for the year after being placed on Injured Reserve. With the two injured, OL Lyle Sendlein is the only other player with experience at center on roster and he is just in his second season.

Another great Matt Millen move. Had he not signed C Andy McCollum when he did, the Cards would have gotten him first. They are this year's CLeveland Browns (who lost three last year in camp FOR THE SEASON).

-nubsnobber

DetFan1979 said...

This also pretty much guarantees that Jones won't clear waivers to the practice squad if the Lions like what they see, and he shows some good stuff in camp & preseason.

Millen does seem to be having the best ifseason he ever has -- by leaps and bounds. The Lions seem to be with/ahead of the curve for a change instead of behind the 8-ball in terms of signings, picks, etc. (with the exception of NE snagging Mayo at 10, which I think in the long run Lions fans will be thankful for)

DetFan1979 said...

BTW --- thanks for the update on Williams, the OT taken just before Albert and then Cherilus.

I hadn't caught the Bears news because the boss is on vacation -- so not hearing it form him, and I've been really busy. Thanks for catching it!

[I updated the post to reflect the info on Williams. credited info]

Anonymous said...

I don't know much about Jones, but Andy McCollum can play both guard and center. That "positional flexibility" will allow Rod & Co. to cut Ramirez or Frank Davis, and still have "two backup guards"; whereas they cut Foster or Scott, and now you only have one backup.

-nubs

CHIEFGER139 said...

i think you forgot to mention that cherlious is struggling right now with his footwork and with too many false starts. at this time of the game it looks like foster will be the starter and cherlious the back up. in fact other than stanton, cherlious looks like hes struggling the most, doesnt look like the receiver moore is doing well either-sounds like dizon is doing awsome, wonder if they still list him as 3rd string-hopefully not. i know many of you think they should cut foster but if i was them id keep him-he has tons of potential and can start until cherlious is ready-which like with dizon hopefully will be by the 3rd preseason game. it looks like smith and felton will be starting too!! either we had a great draft with possibly 4 starters ir we are really weak where 4 rookies can start. id say its somewhere in between-either way its a great draft considering probably avril and fluellen will also make the team and will see game time-even in games were still in the hunt in. this may be the best overall draft weve had-definitely in the millen era-actually i think you could look back at this draft 3 years from now and say wow!! what a great job they did!! last years wasnt bad either considering you got alexander-a starter and cj a starter and it looks like stantons finally coming around-so you could of got our future starter in him. i know many feel we should of got thomas instead of cj-but if cj turns out to be a hall of famer you made the right choice even if thomas becomes one-the wide receiver has more value then the lineman by far does in what he can do for your team so i say cj was the wize choice.
LIONS GREAT IN 2008-PLAYOFFS AND BEYOND!!

Isphet said...

Great thoughts as always, Sir DetFan; the Knight of Rationality. As of right now, the Lions are looking good. Let's hope the trend continues! We have 4 preseason games where bad things can happen *knock on wood*. Get better and STAY HEALTHY Leos!

Hopefully in a few years, the Lions will be a perennial playoff team. If they are, we will certainly look back at last year's and this year's draft classes as being the pivotal 2 years of drafting that helped us finally turn the corner.

All I'm looking for this year is a 6-10, 7-9 record. It's more important to get all these new guys to begin to perform and believe in themselves. If we make the playoffs, which would be great, that's a bonus to me.

I am SO pumped for the first preseason game, and it doesn't even COUNT, heh. I just can't wait to see the new guys develop this year.

Riley said...

I think the Lions are carrying too many RBs, that's the first place I would look to cut.

I would keep just one of these three: Calhoun, Cason, or Pinner.

a.k.a JChadwick

JJLions20 said...

DetFan1979,
Can you post something or have Netrat post something as far as the accounting error in the CAP. This is big if the Lions have the money to sign another veteran.

As far as Martz goes, we all know he is more interested in who knows his offense, and who can run it, rather then the talent of the QB. He believes more in his scheme then he does in the talent of the QB to make a play. If he gets a talented QB who can run his offense then great. But there are problems when he has a QB that knows the offense but lacks talent to really execute it (JTO).

Nubs and Chief,
Lets not try to get too hyped over pre-season propaganda. What the Lions say about the progress of players is not always truthful. Seeing with your own eyes in the preseason games is the real test. And in particular the third preseason game is the most telling. I would not be surprised if Cherilus does not start in the pre-season. It may happen and it will be a telling sign. But on the other hand I could see Marinelli wanting to keep it as a carrot for Cherilus until sometime after the season starts. Also, foster needs the positive reinforcement in camp of running with the first unit. His mental make-up is a little fragile.

The same could be said for Dizon with regards to starting, but there is a different issue there. Dizon has to call the plays on the defensive side. He needs to be establishing confidence in the rest of the defensive that he can handle that. So inserting him as the starter during the preseason makes a little more sense, “IF” the lions feel they will eventually go that direction. It would be harder to make the switch during the season unless Lennon got injured. You don’t want a debate as who should be the MLB and the leader of the defense. I know Ernie is the captain. But the MLB is the driver.

Here is what to watch in the first two preseason games. Does Buster Davis get more work as a MLB or an OLB. If it is as a MLB, then the Lions plan on moving Lennon to the outside pretty soon. If Davis gets more reps on the outside then in the middle, it's a sign the only way Davis makes the roster is if Lennon stays in the middle in 2008. If Davis just get a just a few reps on the outside, then it is for position flexibility. Just getting some experience to see how he looks on the outside.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it just like Lion fans to get a boost of confidence over another teams woes. Don't worry, we will have our share of injuries before long and I'm absolutely positive of that.

We always think we had a good draft but by the end of the season we are starting to pick the draft apart. You like Calvin Johnson Chief, me too but, Joe Thomas, Adrian Peterson, and Patrick Willis all went to the pro bowl last year and the Lions needed guys at all those positions more than a wide receiver. It's too early to tell how well we drafted this year - have patience.

Rumor has it, the Packers may trade Brett Favre to the Vikings -Yikes.

Ok guys, here it is in it's simplest form, WE SUCK, and will continue to SUCK until something drastically happens in Detroit. This draft was just another rebuilding draft.

No pun intended guys, just keeping it real.

I'm going to give you guys a clue as to who I am...the Wize Chief will guess who I am for sure by saying...WE SHOULD HAVE DRAFTED MENDENHALL!

Anonymous said...

Mendenhall,

Now we know you're wrong. You're wrong about almost everything. Mendenhall is a back up. Kevin Smith may start.

And your Kansas City Chiefs lineman' he's doing pretty well. One toenail away from I.R. or P.U.P.

Bring it in the dynasty league

-nubs

Anonymous said...

How long has it been since the draft again.?

Kevin Smith is looking to be a valuable addition so we're not doing too bad at HB. Not to mention that he had experience in the zone blocking system...

Enough with the Mendenhall debate.

Other than that I agree with the assertion that C. Johnson probably wasn't the right pick, but I still believe he's going to have a long and successful career in detroit.

Of course we'll have injuries but you still have to be happy about how we're doing so far with the teams overall health. Say what you want about the T2 and mid-season inuries, but I think the Lions conditioning program is top notch under Rod Marinelli. The biggest injury we had last season was to D. Campbell. In injuries used to be one of the Lions greatest weaknesses, so far it seems to be a strength under Marinelli.

-Streetworm

Anonymous said...

mendenhall

its quite obvoiuos that your canopener the notorious lion hater in the flesh.

NEWS FLASH!

mendenhall was an option offense RB who had one good year. kevin smith is from the same zone scheme the lions are running now, so its a nobrainer that we made the right call.

and what is it with all this cut ramirez talk? killer posted a week or so ago that he's starting over peterman..?

canopener i campained for an OT at 15 because of sheer depth reason, and the fact rod said were gonna run it down opponents throats. gosder was the best pure RT in the draft so yeah i say we did a good job.

can you guess who i am? it rhymes with spittbull78!